You’ve booked your tickets, you’re looking at the wait times and you see the Avatar rides are 180 minutes each. Do you wait? I waited six hours to get on both of the Avatar rides… Only one of them is worth any sort of wait time! Which one though?
Non Avatar Rides
I ventured in to the Animal Kingdom in October 2017 and it was my first visit to this Disney park. It was a spur of the moment visit with our 14 day pass so we rocked up with no fast passes (first big mistake). If you’re expecting to see the usual princess castle then you’ll be disappointed but it does have the iconic, and very impressive, Tree of Life. The tree stands at 145ft right in the middle of the park on Discovery Island. There’s actually a 400 seat theatre inside the tree that shows the A Bugs Life 4D film attraction, It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
My first ride of the day was a massive steel rollercoaster. In 2011 this ride actually made its way in to the World Record books as the most expensive rollercoaster in the world. That ride is Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. As you’ve probably guessed it’s based on a trip through the Himalayas to Mount Everest. The mountain has been claimed by the yeti and the ride features some ‘broken track’ before you’re treated to a wee surprise! This three minute ride also features an 80ft drop. The wait time of around 40 minutes was worth it for this ride. Was it worth all the money Disney spent on it? I’ll let you decide.
Kali River Rapids
After the trip to Everest, we headed to the Kali River Rapids ride, the water ride that soaks every rider! We had to wait around 30 minutes for this one and my poncho came in handy! The ride initially climbs up to around 90ft with some geysers and waterfalls surrounding you at the top. The water starts to gush in to the raft as you go towards a 30ft slide. If you managed to miss most of the water, you won’t after the drop! If you’re sitting backwards going down the slide then you’ll be the worst hit!
Pandora – The World of Avatar
The Avatar world, Pandora section opened in May 2017 after three years of construction. The section really is excellent with the floating mountain range looking spectacular. Have you ever wanted to look like an Avatar? Well there’s a shop here where you can buy your tails and ears! If that’s not your thing then there are also a couple of food options for a quick bite to eat. It’s a bit light on the ride front with only two available though. Especially with one of those two being pretty boring!
Na’vi River Journey
Our first three hour wait of the day was for Na’vi River Journey (second big mistake). Oh my word. I’d have been disappointed if I waited any longer than 15 minutes. It’s a boat ride taking you through the nature of Pandora. Don’t get me wrong, the inside is extremely impressive with some 3D holograms and the really cool fauna. However, it’s no way worth a three hour wait. When we were there the ride did have to undergo maintenance a few times which added to our wait time but it’s just a slow boat ride that lasts just a few minutes.
Avatar Flight of Passage
The second three hour wait was for the big one – Avatar Flight of Passage. Maybe it was just our luck but this ride had to undergo maintenance and run a limited service for a while too. The wait was too much for some though which a couple of people leaving with only around 10 minutes to go. If only they’d known! The ride itself was superb! You’re learning to ride on the back of a banshee as you explore the amazing world of Pandora. There’s a giant screen in front of you to immerse yourself in the experience as you get thrown around and feel those usual sudden drops. I’m not 100% sure on the three hour wait but I didn’t feel nearly as let down as after the Na’vi River Journey.
Final Thoughts on the Animal Kingdom Park
We had had enough after the long wait times so we didn’t get to experience some of the other areas of the park that it’s well known for – the animals. They’ve got Kilimanjaro Safaris which takes you a tour of the African animals. There’s also a Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail which has gorillas and chimpanzees among other animals. There’s also a dinosaur area for the younger visitors.
Animal Kingdom wasn’t one of my favourite Disney theme parks with only a couple of attractions really doing it for me but if you’ve got a three day pass and want to try out the Avatar rides then give it a go! Just don’t wait very long for the Na’vi River Journey!
Let me know what you thought of the rides. How long did you wait?
PS – If you love Disney then I’ve posted a review of my time on a Disney Cruise too, check it out!